How Different Watch Cases Wear

We all know that the dimensions of a watch greatly affect how a watch wears. Whether it’s the case diameter, the lug-to-lug length, the thickness or even the lug width, all play a part in determining how well a watch suits our wrist.

The diameter of a case is the measurement we tend to focus on most, as it determines how much of the surface of the wrist a watch fills. However, the other measurements are just as important. For example, the lug-to-lug measurement is very important because it determines how much of the width of your wrist a watch fills. So if the lug-to-lug is kept compact you’ll find that you can actually wear a watch with a diameter a bit bigger than what you would usually.

Now you should also consider the lug width of a watch because a wider strap or bracelet will mean a watch takes up more space on your wrist and wears a little larger. Lastly, the thickness of a watch also needs to be factored in, as a watch that’s too tall will feel bulky and cumbersome to wear no matter what its other dimensions are.

However, one thing that might get overlooked is how the shape of the case affects how it feels on the wrist. So, we thought we’d go through each of the case shapes we use at farer, and how they wear on the wrist.


The most commonly used watch shape is of course the round case. With their symmetrical shape, round watches tend to wear fairly true to size. The only aspect that tends to influence their wrist presence is the bezel thickness and corresponding dial size. For example, the Lander GMT has a thin bezel and a large dial, so it has a strong wrist presence.


Cushion cases are a more unusual shape that’s usually reserved for dressier watches such as our Cushion Case and Moonphase collections. Cushion cases are not exact squares, but have curved edges to give the case a softer, more streamlined appearance. These cases wear larger than their dimensions would suggest because the squared corners take up a greater surface area than on round cases. Therefore, you’ll find that you can wear a watch like our 38.5mm Durham cushion case without it looking small on you.


Tonneau is French for “barrel”, and it describes a case shape that’s neither rectangular nor cushion-shaped. Instead, tonneau cases are somewhere in between, with an oblong shape and gently curving sides. Thanks to this long shape the lug-to-lug distance is the key measurement in determining how a tonneau watch wears. Our Tonneau collection demonstrates this perfectly, with the watches wearing 2-3mm larger than the 35mm diameter would suggest.